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Strip Searches (246A/22)


  1. Numbers of people subject to strip searches in the last 5 years (2016-2021) by age group and gender. Specifically, how many children were subjected to strip searches in this time.
  2. Numbers of people subject to strip search in the last 5 years (2016-2021) by ethnicity.


Unfortunately, our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

However, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 246A_22_attachment.xlsx). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.


Although it has been possible to extract information from our systems in relation to strip searches following a Stop and Search (attached as per above), it is not possible to determine the number of strip searches in relation to persons brought into custody, without undertaking a manual examination of each custody record. Such a search though would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

This means that the cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: